Murder accomplice sentenced to two decades, deportation

Alberto Solis

Jefferson County District Attorney Cory Crenshaw announced on Tuesday, Aug. 26, that 30-year-old Alberto Solis of Groves pleaded guilty to assisting in the murder of Ubaldo Santiago Hernandez in late 2011. As part of the plea, Solis was sentenced by Drug Impact Court Judge Larry Gist to a term of 20 years in the state penitentiary.

According to the probable cause statement, on Dec. 19, 2011, officers responded to a male body found floating near the Intracoastal Canal Bridge on State Highway 87. The body seemed to only have been in the water for a few hours with the face still recognizable. While the victim was unidentified for some time after the discovery, witnesses came forward to later identify the man as Ubaldo Santiago Hernandez.

Autopsy results showed Hernandez endured blunt force trauma to the head and ultimately died from drowning. The main actor, Candido Juarez, confessed to getting into an altercation with the victim before hitting the victim over the head several times with a tool. Juarez then solicited Solis as an accomplice to help dispose of the body by throwing it over the Intracoastal Canal Bridge into the water below.

Solis confessed to helping co-defendant Juarez throw the body over the bridge into the water. Juarez pleaded guilty to his part in the crime on June 3, 2013 and was sentenced to 25 years in jail.

Following sentencing, Assistant Criminal District Attorney Brittanie Holmes stated, “Everyone involved throughout the investigation did an incredible job to help solve this case. The family of the deceased was grateful of the outcome and relieved to finally have closure.”

Due to the defendant's lack of legal status in this country, he will be deported back to his home country of Mexico following the discharge of his sentence.